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Legless in Seattle
Actually nothing to do with Seattle at all - just legless!
© 1998 D R Fry
Alcohol is the universal social lubricant. In most circles it is more socially acceptable than giggle cigarettes, and when taken in moderation it performs a myriad of tasks - breaks the ice, loosens up inhibitions, makes people more friendly, more inclined to socialise, better looking (He/shes looking better with every beer!) that sort of thing. Increase the dosage and things get quite different; people end up doing things that they would never do when sober.
Add music into the equation and the effect inceases exponentially. For most pubs music is an integral part of the beer delivery system, a way to make more people drink more of it. Personally, I was always careful not to drink at all at the gig if I had to drive home that night. However sympathetic a cop might be, they would certainly took a very dim view of driving a fully loaded 7 tonne truck around when you yourself had a few drinks onboard!
Some years ago I did a private gig at the Myrtleford Fire station in North East Victoria. One thing you can say about country people is they sure know how to enjoy themselves. And enjoying themselves usually involves downing about a weeks worth of Carlton and United Breweries' total output.
The band was happily playing their little hearts out, the guests were hoping and bopping away, when at about 11 oclock one of the organisers dashed on stage, a look of consternation on his face. The band ground to a halt as he grabbed the microphone.
Shit - the beers run out! he yelled.
There was a collective gasp from the audience, as everyone immediately became more protective of what little they had left in their glasses.
While urgent reinforcements were being sent for, two young desperates couldnt wait any longer. After draining the contents of the drip tray under the tap, purple dye and all, they went looking for more. Their eyes settled upon the long drip cloth laid out along the top of the bar. They grabbed it between them, complete with cigarette ash, peanut shells, dribbles of any other drinks that had been spilled, rolled it up tightly and managed to squeeze two pots worth of a lumpy grey mixture out of it.
And then they drank the murky mess!
Forget If you drink and drive youre a bloody idiot - if you drink and drink and drink and drink youll end up on the floor sucking the dregs out of the carpet!
Of course, country folk dont have a monopoly on shedding inhibitions with copious amounts of alcohol. Nat Prick, 80s disco supplier to the rich and fatuous, got me to do a home disco gig with him once, at a house in oh-so-trendy Brighton, to christen their new swimming pool. I must have been particularly hard up for work, because these sort of functions would normally bore the living crap out of me, but a dollar was a dollar. And I would get well fed! Most important!
It was a warm summer night, and the party was to be held outside since the weather was so good. Now at a pool christening party youd expect that things would get a little wet, so I was careful to set everything up well clear of any flying water. Nats revolutionary ideas of earthing consisted of disconnecting wires until the hum stopped, so I always tried to keep well away from him while he was working his console. Perhaps electric shocks were his way of dissuading people from requesting tunes! You could imagine some drunk leaning on his disco setup - Hey pal, can you play Zzzzzappp!
But this night no one had reeled back from the console, smoking from the ears, and the Brighton glitterati frolicked around the pool getting steadily more and more pickled, until Splash - the inevitable happened. The hostess was thrown into the pool, fully clothed, closely followed by the host in his tuxedo.
Aah, not my boots, not my new boots, screamed the hostess, leaping straight out again. She slid a pair of knee length leather boots off, poured the water out of them, carefully dried them with a towel and put them safely away. Then she jumped back into the pool again. Pretty soon everyone was being thrown into the pool, willingly or otherwise.
Climbing out again a few minutes later to get another drink, the hostess proceeded to peel off her wet clothes and run around totally nude in the warm night air! Not to be outdone, pretty soon the rest of the women did the same. I think some of the guys stripped off as well, but Im afraid those images arent burned into my retinas anywhere near as strongly!
The night turned out to be not quite so boring as we had both anticipated! A bunch of rich good looking women with perfect tans and the best bodies that their husbands money could buy running around naked? Hmm - theres got to be worse ways of spending an evening!
The things you see when you dont have a camera - Nat Prick and I could have both retired in luxury on those negatives.
Postscript from Nat Prick, dragged out of suburban retirement by the publication of this story: "Although one might think Dunk is exaggerating, he is telling the absolute truth (although he was a bit harsh about the disco console!)"
Most of this story first appeared in Connections magazine